springgreen: (Default)
[personal profile] springgreen
So, for those of you who write for anime and manga fandoms: do you ever have problems translating the characters in your fic?

I've found that it's much easier for me to get character voice for manga, provided that I've read the manga in translation, but with subtitled anime, I've been having a very painful time. There's always a small mental disconnect in which the characters are speaking Japanese in my head, but English in the fic, whether I'm reading or writing something.

I keep hearing the characters saying things like "Sou ka naaaa..." and I can't figure out how to do that in English. And I don't want to pepper my fic with too much random Japanese, as a) reader accessability is a good thing, b) it furthers the disconnect somewhat (i.e. I as a reader have to flip between Japanese and English even more often), and c) I have had too many bad experiences with fangirl Japanese.

How much Japanese throws you out of a fic (or does it ever)? How much do you personally try to keep in (if any)? Do you try to keep suffixes like -san and -chan, and do you try to keep interjections like "ne"?

And how in the world do you translate things like "Sou ka" and the not-quite-yes "Un" that often goes with a nod and all that stuff?

*wanders off, confused*

And now for something completely different!

I've been endlessly amused watching people I know write themselves as Mary Sues in SPN ficlets, but alas, since I don't watch SPN, I will instead apply this to my currently most active fandom!

Mary Sue Saiyuki!

"And an order of meat buns, and a dish of the beef chow fun, and some Fuzhou fried rice, and the chicken noodle soup but with the noodles and the soup separate, and some of the crispy-skinned duck, and the duck with mashed taro, and the drunken chicken, and..."

The waitress scribbled as quickly as she could.

"And some of the barbequed pork buns, and..."

"Um, would you like to try our soup dumplings, sir?"

Goku grinned. "Yeah! Hey, what else do you like?" To the table: "She called me sir!"

"Uh. Lots of stuff?" she said. "What do you like?"

"The monkey likes everything," Gojyo said, cigarette drooping from the corner of his mouth. "Couldn't you tell?"

Hakkai and Sanzo had long since let their attention wander after Goku's order went past the twentieth item.

"Oh! You should get the warm mochi rolled in peanut powder and sugar with sesame on the inside. Get two orders. Or maybe more. But the kitchen takes forever to make them."

"Okay!"

"Oh!! You forgot to get green stuff! We have really good kongxin vegetables today; I like them stir-fried with garlic. And we have bok choi and Chinese broccoli with oyster sauce and bean sprouts and cabbage, but the cabbage is sort of boring, and um... OH! We have those veggies stir-fried with the little white fish that sort of look like maggots but really taste good and salty and aren't gross at all really!"

Hakkai looked up. "Maggots?"

"Only a little, but I swear, they're so good, and really they're just fish!"

"I suppose we should try to feed Goku more green things," he mused.

The waitress nodded enthusiastically. "They're tasty!"

Sanzo glared. "Are you paid by commission?"

"No, no! I just like vegetables, that's all!"

Sanzo glared more.

"I swear!"

Goku peered at her, somewhat baffled. Goku liked food a lot. But Goku's affinity was toward meat buns and rice dishes and fried things, and he was curious. "You like vegetables? 'specially?"

"Well, I sort of like everything. But vegetables are tasty, and they're crunchy, and they're just green and fresh and did I mention the crunchy and the green?"

Goku nodded. "Hey, Sanzo, can we keep her?"

The waitress smiled uncertainly.

"Are you out of your fucking mind? We have a hard enough time just feeding you!" Gojyo yelled. "Sanzo, c'mon!"

Sanzo sucked at his cigarette. "For once, you've said something intelligent."

Hakkai leaned over and whispered to the waitress, "I think you're probably better off without us." The waitress nodded, eyes glued on Sanzo's gun. "Why don't you order yourself some of your favorites after we leave and charge it to Sanzo's card?"

"Really?" she squeaked.

"Goku's orders are so large that he probably won't be able to tell."

"COOL!"

A few weeks later: "What the fuck? How could even you eat this much?" Sanzo yelled, waving a very long credit card bill in Goku's face.

Hakkai laughed.

You are all grateful that I never got around to trying to knit the ikkou socks. Stripey, candy-colored socks. Or possibly a gun cozy.

(no subject)

Date: 2007-04-25 10:28 pm (UTC)
the_rck: (Default)
From: [personal profile] the_rck
I do tend to keep the honorifics when I write anime/manga fandoms. I think that they say something important and extremely hard to translate about the way that the characters relate to each other. I also miss honorifics in manga when the translation has dropped them (partly because I keep wondering if they were there in the Japanese or not and partly because I want to know the relative intimacy or formality of how the characters relate to each other). I actually ran aground briefly on a recent manga based fic because the translation had a brother and sister both using each other's names without honorifics and so I had no idea which one was older.

I think that sometimes there are connotations to words in Japanese that the English doesn't carry (it's true the other way around, too). For example, I often want to use 'hai' because there isn't a single English word that does quite the same things. It is perfectly possible to translate the various permutations, but all of those translations lose the ambiguity of the Japanese. There's a vast difference between 'yes,' 'yes, sir,' 'I hear you,' 'I disagree, but you outrank me, so I can't say so,' or 'I think you're full of shit but don't dare say so.'

I've also seen people mention that they don't like seeing 'osuwari' (not sure I'm spelling that right) translated as 'sit!' It comes up a lot in InuYasha and is apparently a word only used to command dogs to sit. The anime rendered it as, 'Sit, boy!' which seemed a reasonable compromise, but many fic writers prefer 'osuwari.' I'm not sure where I'd come down on that one if I wrote InuYasha fics.

Just some babbling...

(no subject)

Date: 2007-04-25 11:01 pm (UTC)
ext_6116: (Default)
From: [identity profile] springgreen.livejournal.com
I find that as a reader, pretty much anything that isn't honorifics or specific vocabulary ("shinigami" or "youkai" or etc.) tends to throw me out of the fic; otherwise I have to keep switching back and forth between Japanese-mode and English-mode. When it's all in English, there's that moment of disconnect at the beginning of the fic, but after that, I tend to do ok.

But I find that as a writer, I'm having horrible difficulties translating, heh. Mostly it's for anime, when I can hear the characters' voices over the subtitles; for well-translated manga, I find it much easier keeping with the translated voice.

(no subject)

Date: 2007-04-26 01:44 am (UTC)
octopedingenue: (Default)
From: [personal profile] octopedingenue
I fall on the side of translating "osuwari!" for fic/English sub because it is more entertaining than mentally translating a line of "osuwari"s whenever Kagome flips out and goes "SIT SIT SIT SITSITSITSIIIIIT" until Inuyasha is pulp. Which will never not be funny in either language.

On the flip side (and on the "yay honorifics!" side), it drives me nuts that the Inuyasha official English translations have Sango address Miroku as "Miroku," when in Japanese she only ever refers to him with, very formally, as "houshi-sama" (lord Buddhist monk). Even when she's beating him up, even after they've hooked up. Ditching it is like Scully calling Mulder "Fox" from the get-go.

(no subject)

Date: 2007-04-26 07:30 pm (UTC)
ext_6116: (Default)
From: [identity profile] springgreen.livejournal.com
Yeah, I almost always prefer to keep the honorifics, and it seems like most of the readers like them there too.

(no subject)

Date: 2007-04-27 06:16 pm (UTC)
the_rck: (Default)
From: [personal profile] the_rck
::laughs:: 'Sit! Sit! Sit! Sit!' definitely works better in English than 'Osuwari! Osuwari! Osuwari! Osuwari!' For me, some of that is that I see the string of 'sit' as a unit but see the string of 'osuwari'as a bunch of separate words (probably because of the need to translate that you mentioned).

I do wish that more translations kept the honorifics and specific forms of address. I keep reading manga in which characters address each other by their personal names, and I'm never sure if that's because they do so in Japanese, because the translator decided that they *ought* to because people like them in the U.S. would, because the translator decided that that using personal names was the English equivalent of [surname]-kun, or because of something else that I haven't even thought of.

I think you're quite right about Sango. There's a lot of nuance and characterization lost in having her call Miroku 'Miroku' instead of 'houshi-sama.' Am I correct in recalling that she's less formal with Kagome, InuYasha and Shippo? (It's been months since I last watched any InuYasha, so I've forgotten details.)

(no subject)

Date: 2007-04-27 07:36 pm (UTC)
octopedingenue: (Default)
From: [personal profile] octopedingenue
I'm happy that Inuyasha is one of the anime I love in both dub and sub, since both versions have nuances that just don't carry over from the other version to me. (Inuyasha calling Sesshouaru "aniki-sama/ani-kisama" = MADE OF WIN)

The personal politics that go into surname translation are pretty interesting. I wonder how much audience goes into it as well: translating terms for an assumed younger or more more mainstream audience, maybe also?

(Yes, obsessively plotting out Inuyasha honorific use continues to entertain me way too much.) Sango is definitely most formal with Miroku's "houshi-sama;" she & Kagome call each other "-chan" and the others are "Inuyasha" and "Shippo-chan." On the flip side, Miroku uses "Inuyasha" and "Shippo," while the badass Shinto priestesses get the formality of "Kagome-sama" and "Kikyou-sama(!)" but Sango is always "Sango." He outranks her and has a crush on her. (Veering off-topic, Kohaku calls Sango "ane-ue," which I don't see as much as "ani-ue," and which also kills me.)

(no subject)

Date: 2007-04-28 04:19 am (UTC)
ext_6116: (Default)
From: [identity profile] springgreen.livejournal.com
Inuyasha calling Sesshouaru "aniki-sama/ani-kisama" = MADE OF WIN

I don't watch/read Inuyasha, but that is an awesome pun!

I also keep wanting to pick up the Japanese original of Yakitatte! Japan just to see the puns and compare it with the translation (which does fairly well).

(no subject)

Date: 2007-04-28 04:18 am (UTC)
ext_6116: (Default)
From: [identity profile] springgreen.livejournal.com
Reasons why I really like what Del Rey's been doing with their manga line, at least in the series I've been reading!

(no subject)

Date: 2007-04-25 10:48 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rilina.livejournal.com
Hee to the Mary Sue!

I tend to find anything aside from honorifics a bit too much. There are some terms I don't think translate well (like ikkou) or technical fandom specific terms (like zanpakutoh, or names of ninja weapons); but especially in dialogue, I like to see as few untranslated bits as possible.

(no subject)

Date: 2007-04-25 11:04 pm (UTC)
ext_6116: (Default)
From: [identity profile] springgreen.livejournal.com
I was going to edit my dialogue as Mary Sue, and then I realized, nope. I actually talk like that and repeat "really" and "I swear!" all the time. -_-;;

It's really funny because as a reader, I don't particularly like it when there's random Japanese. I have to switch brains too often. Well, unless it's like "shinigami" or whatnot, and even then I sometimes waffle. But I found that when I've been writing anime stuff, I keep thinking, "And then Al says, 'Nii-san!' Wait. 'Brother'? Huh that sounds weird. Uhhhhh...."

I think it's because I actually understand some Japanese in anime and so the subtitles feel like subtitles and not like actual text, if that makes sense. Like, I can't quite hear the H&C characters in English yet. It usually is better with manga or with something that's anime and manga, because then there's the translated voice to refer back to.

(no subject)

Date: 2007-04-25 11:09 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rilina.livejournal.com
I wouldn't mind 'Nii-san as much as something else, since that sort of falls vaguely in my brain in the same category as honorifics (forms of address?). I'm also more flexible with things like titles. I know I've used taichou in my fic (and dunno, maybe I shouldn't), and in the little PoT fic that I've read, I don't mind when a characters uses something like buchou.

But ne, and sou ka, and arigatou--definitely falls into the territory of too much.

Which is all to say: I think there's a space for using some, but there's definitely a point where it's overkill.

(no subject)

Date: 2007-04-25 11:26 pm (UTC)
ext_6116: (Default)
From: [identity profile] springgreen.livejournal.com
Huh, interesting! I've occasionally been thrown out of Bleach fic once the usage gets out of taichou and goes to fukutaichou and etc., because then I have to remember what the heck "fukutaichou" is. Ditto with Gaiden fic and "gensui" and "taishou" -- I think I prefer when people use "Marshal" and "Captain."

I've found (reading back) that I tend to use "ne" and "oi" and "aaaa" a lot.

But yeah, once you get to the "anoooo" and the "sou ka naaaa" and random exclamations of thanks and please and whatnot, it pushes me into "fangirl Japanese!" territory.

I've also found it really interesting to see when people use "Leaf" and "Sand" and when they use "Konoha" and "Suna" in Naruto fic; I think I'm good with either (of course, provided that it's consistent).

I've also also found that it's ten times easier going straight to the English with a good translation; a lot of anime I feel has fairly good translation as translation, but not as dialogue, if that makes sense.

(no subject)

Date: 2007-04-25 11:42 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rilina.livejournal.com
It's probably not a coincidence that I gave examples of fandoms that I watched a big chunk of in anime before catching up in the manga (Bleach and Prince of Tennis). I might find the fukutaichou stuff more problematic for a different fandom.

Ditto with Gaiden fic and "gensui" and "taishou" -- I think I prefer when people use "Marshal" and "Captain."
So do I. Partly because I can't keep those straight in my mind. :)

I've also found it really interesting to see when people use "Leaf" and "Sand" and when they use "Konoha" and "Suna" in Naruto fic; I think I'm good with either (of course, provided that it's consistent).
I've used both, IIRC. I also prefer for the names of jutsus in Naruto not to be translated, probably because I've read too much of the series in scanlation.

(no subject)

Date: 2007-04-28 11:09 am (UTC)
octopedingenue: (Default)
From: [personal profile] octopedingenue
I am not able to read/write Fullmetal Alchemist fic without Al shrieking "NIIII-SAAAAAN" in my head.

(no subject)

Date: 2007-04-25 11:03 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] shati.livejournal.com
So, for those of you who write for anime and manga fandoms: do you ever have problems translating the characters in your fic?

Ohhh yes. I write for TV fandoms by voice; if I can hear the actor saying it, it's good. And when I hear the actor speaking in Japanese -- it's a problem.

I do use honorifics if I think they're going to convey something in the fic I can't get across elsewise, or if I'm used to reading fic in the fandom that uses them, or if I just feel like it. I don't use "ne" and "sou ka," though -- I try to write in the voice of the subtitles, for the most part, since I can't use the actual voice. (Also because of the fangirl Japanese thing. Heh.)

(no subject)

Date: 2007-04-25 11:21 pm (UTC)
ext_6116: (Default)
From: [identity profile] springgreen.livejournal.com
I know! I was trying to write something and could totally hear the seiyuu saying, "Sou kaaaa" in my head, and I kept trying to translate it to something not too awkward.

I've actually had difficulty writing in the voice of some subtitles, partially because a lot of fansubs are good and informative, but they still sound like translations, as opposed to dialogue. Though on the other hand, I can totally hear Hiro and Ando in English because their subtitles are just that colloquial and really expressive (I love how the font changes sizes and stuff).

I've been putting stuff like "ne" and "aaa" and "oi" in, but not the longer things like "Sou deshou ka" or "anoooo ne" or etc, because those tend to throw reader-me out of fic.

This is all very interesting!

(no subject)

Date: 2007-04-26 12:16 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] shati.livejournal.com
Oh, me too. I mean I also try to write it as though it were subtitled, if that makes any sense. Like, my fic is written to be a translation, not what they're actually saying, so I don't necessarily bother with "ne" and the rest.

I don't think I'd be thrown by seeing "aaa" and "oi" in a fic, though.

Also, this would get doubly confusing if I ever ended up writing fic for anime/manga set in the US.

(Yeah, I love Hiro and Ando's subtitles. And they move around the screen helpfully! -- Which will suck for vidding, sigh.)

(no subject)

Date: 2007-04-26 07:25 pm (UTC)
ext_6116: (Default)
From: [identity profile] springgreen.livejournal.com
Oh man, yes! Every time I write Gaiden there's this weird conflict in my head -- is it really in Chinese but I'm reading it in Japanese? Is it sort of Japanese? What what what? I think my head would explode if Minekura's world hadn't already been established as being completely anachronistic.

(no subject)

Date: 2007-04-26 03:14 am (UTC)
ext_3743: (Default)
From: [identity profile] umadoshi.livejournal.com
In terms of retaining Japanese terms, I always keep the honorifics if I can (I suspect I get them wrong in X, because Viz didn't include them in the manga and I haven't seen the anime enough to get a feel for it), and otherwise only keep a small handful of words--things like "kotatsu", mainly, that really don't translate at all.

I find it easier to find voices for characters I've heard than ones I've only read. This comes up for me a lot since I write Haru/Rin, and I have a sense of his voice but no impression at all of hers. My Japanese isn't up to picking up more than a vague sense of the formality level a character uses, but I can hear it enough to have a starting point; if it's a manga-only character, I'm never sure that the translation I'm reading accurately reflects the way they speak unless it's a very exaggerated trait. :/

After that, I think I don't try too hard to follow the rhythm of the Japanese, but there are definitely some things that turn up in my fanfic dialogue that are probably less pronounced in my original work. In fic I'm more likely to include variations on "mmm hmm" as actual responses, and my editor and I did notice when we were working on the current long story that I used "okay" a *lot* in dialogue, which I think probably comes from the "ne" and "sou desu ka" patterns. Oh, and I find I include more ellipses and em-dashes than I would otherwise. But that's pretty much as far as I'll go.

(I'm half asleep, so hopefully that makes sense. ^^)

(no subject)

Date: 2007-04-26 07:32 pm (UTC)
ext_6116: (Default)
From: [identity profile] springgreen.livejournal.com
I find it easier to find voices for characters I've heard than ones I've only read.

Oh, that's funny! It's the complete opposite of me, but that's because once I hear them, I keep hearing them in Japanese and it's totally weird and I can't hear them in English any more.

I tend to find that if there's a bad/somewhat clunky translation, it's actually easier for me to write the fic, because there's a little more leeway for speculation and going off. But if the source is incredibly good, I have a harder time, because then I feel like I have to live up to the voice and the tone of the series and not write anything that feels too much like something the original mangaka wouldn't have written. More room for play for me in flawed source?

(no subject)

Date: 2007-05-01 05:48 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] i-am-zan.livejournal.com
Sorry for interupting but I could not resist...

I keep honorifics if its set in Japan like Samurai 7 and GetBackers Japanese. Fortunately for the rest of the world my writing isn't so prolific.

Although I must admit I had to work it out of my system when I started writing ff.

However... "Purify the evil" Just doesn't quite cut it does it, so I stick with "Makai Tenjyo" (uh spelling?)

*slinks away*

(no subject)

Date: 2007-10-03 03:53 am (UTC)
ext_150: (Default)
From: [identity profile] kyuuketsukirui.livejournal.com
I just found this post, but since it's relevant to what I'm procrastinating on (writing Nana fic), I figured I'd comment.

I have real trouble reading and writing fic for Japanese fandoms. At first I just stayed away because of the fan Japanese, but over time I've realised there's more to it than that.

I always read or watch in Japanese. I haven't read translated manga or watched subtitled anime since the early '90s. So for one thing, I am just not familiar with the conventions of the English-language fandoms. I don't know what words are translated and which aren't, or how they're translated. I don't know how they speak in English, etc. So when I'm reading, it all sounds wrong. And when I'm trying to write, it never feels right. So far aside from the Nana fic I'm writing right now, all I've written is two very short (I think 100 and 200 words) Bleach fics.

The other thing is, I feel like I'm never working from the same canon as others. Some translations may be very close to the original, but they're still translations, and if people are going from scanlations and fansubs, there's even more chance that their canon is not quite right.

I don't want to include any Japanese when I'm writing. I guess I would if I needed to use a term that was untranslated in the English version, but as for just general dialogue, no. To me, the only time to put in words from another language is if you are writing a character who is speaking in English but that's not their native language, so the character might say ne or stick in some other Japanese word. But if you are writing a story entirely in English, and thus all your characters' dialogue is a translation of what they're really saying, it makes no sense to leave part of it untranslated. (I feel the same way about sci-fi stories, like Star Wars or something, where they're not really speaking English, we just accept that it's a translated version, so it's silly to give every damn thing a different word rather than use what would be the equivalent in English.)

(no subject)

Date: 2007-10-03 08:34 pm (UTC)
ext_6116: (Default)
From: [identity profile] springgreen.livejournal.com
I am so jealous of your Japanese-reading! Are you a native speaker?

Also, good points re: the story as a whole being a translation.

(no subject)

Date: 2007-10-03 08:44 pm (UTC)
ext_150: (Default)
From: [identity profile] kyuuketsukirui.livejournal.com
Not native, no. It was my major in college, which means I started studying it...uh...about thirteen years ago, I guess, and I've been working as a professional translator for about eight years. And since as soon as I got to a point where I could understand enough to read or watch stuff in Japanese, I have been, almost as much as I read/watch in English (in fact, I went through one of those Japanese-obsessed phases at first where I read/watched in Japanese almost exclusively (including music)), that just serves to expand my vocabulary and understanding, especially of slang, colloquialisms, dialect, and other stuff that's not so much taught in school.

(no subject)

Date: 2007-10-03 09:40 pm (UTC)
ext_6116: (Default)
From: [identity profile] springgreen.livejournal.com
Oh cool! It was my minor in college, but I have been really bad about keeping up with it, sigh.

(no subject)

Date: 2007-10-03 09:47 pm (UTC)
ext_150: (Default)
From: [identity profile] kyuuketsukirui.livejournal.com
Keeping it up is really key. I took Spanish and German in high school and did really well, was even able to read novels in Spanish with no trouble, but now...I can understand some vocabulary in both languages, but no way could I speak or read it, because I've not done anything to keep it up. I used to want to learn a bunch of different languages, but I think I'm busy enough with Japanese and English, and anything else would just be temporary before I forgot it...

(no subject)

Date: 2007-12-04 09:06 am (UTC)
ext_12512: Hinoe from Natsume Yuujinchou, elegant and smirky (Default)
From: [identity profile] smillaraaq.livejournal.com
Oooh, this is so full of interesting stuff I can't resist, I hope you don't mind the thread being raised from the dead again!

Generally speaking, so long as the Japanese terms are used consistently and correctly, simply having them in a fic, even in fairly high quantities, isn't going to put me out of a well-written fic. (Inconsistently switching back and forth between the English and Japanese for the same terms, or really glaring misuse, now that's another story of course; and if a fic is already poorly written, well, it doesn't HELP any, either.) But I'm possibly a weird edge case here because while I don't actually speak or read Japanese, the "pidgin" Hawaiian creole English I grew up with has a ton of Japanese loan words, so hearing English with a lot of random Japanese in it sounds, well, like a pretty normal variety of English to me, basically! Even after more than a decade away from the islands, there are still a lot of things where I have to stop and remind myself to use a different word if I don't want to risk mainland English-speakers to be confused.

As a reader/watcher, I'd generally prefer to see the Japanese used whenever it conveys a finer shade of meaning or just doesn't translate terribly neatly into English -- honorifics, youkai v. demon, that sort of thing; this is a big part of why I always try to go for subs, since even if the translation in the subtitles is mediocre I can still pick up interesting little tidbits just from the terms I can recognize when spoken. I can definitely see how it would be more confusing if I could understand all of it and were trying to listen to/read all that contradictory material simultaneously; but just with catching random words here and there it's not so bad, at most I sometimes have to back up a bit for a "did I just hear that...?" moment. (But I've never quite understood the folks who have trouble just watching anything subtitled, because for me that goes back to some of my very earliest television memories, watching stuff on the UHF Japanese station; subtitled material is just another flavor of "normal".)

Other than inconsistent/incorrect use, my fangirl-Japanese radar doesn't tend to ping unless there's a lot of really gratuitous use of terminology that does translate neatly into English without losing a lot of shades of meaning...or using it for series that are set outside of Japan. (Saiyuki is a special case since it's set in China, but the characters all have the Japanese versions of their names, Gojyo's a kappa instead of Friar Sand, the Merciful Goddess is Kanzeon instead of Guanyin...so with all the other weird anachronisms in Minekura's worldbuilding, in my head it somehow makes perfect sense that they're in some weirdass AU version of China and India where everyone is speaking Japanese...)

The Western-languages dilemma comes up a lot in another one of my fandoms, From Eroica With Love, where the lead characters are all European and most are very well-educated and multilingual, so instead of fangirl Japanese the tendency is to overuse fangirl-German (or fangirl Brit-slang)...with all the usual complications-in-translation of the mangaka herself occasionally getting the random language snippets she throws in a bit wrong! All the native German speakers I've seen, for instance, say that the German she uses on occasion tends to be rather painfully old-fashioned. The general sentiment there, at least on the writing communities that I follow, is that since the characters are nominally speaking English most of the time, and the German lead character is very fluent in it, it's a poor idea to have Klaus constantly dropping German into his speech for no reason; lapsing into the familiar when he's exhausted, profanities when he's particularly angry, etc. are all one thing, but having him seeming to forget basic vocabulary in even casual conversation just looks silly.

And your waitress-Sue is adorable, btw. CRUNCHY AND GREEN!

(no subject)

Date: 2007-12-05 01:09 am (UTC)
ext_6116: (Default)
From: [identity profile] springgreen.livejournal.com
I don't mind at all!

I think you hit the nail on the head! I have a really hard time evaluating how much is too much because I'm so used to the Chinglish thing, and Japlish as well, after taking Japanese with friends for so long. When I was still in college, I would occasionally slip and stick Japanese in when talking to my roommates (less Chinese, for some reason), and I'd end up using the Japanese kanji for a vocab word but pronouncing it in Chinese when talking to my mom. She laughed at me so much.

My friend would do that too... once she went around saying "hai(3) no hi!" instead of "umi no hi."

For Saiyuki, I've just been really bad and I switch around haphazardly between Japanese and Chinese; I think I try to use the Japanese terms for most things, just because that's in the translations and the readers are familiar with it. But I like sticking in Chinese culture as well, so if it's not already in the manga, I use the Chinese, not the Japanese (ergo Zhuge Liang).

I can only imagine how much more tangly it'd get with the European languages! I thought about Cain fic once, only it's so difficult to think about, because Yuki Kaori's research is impeccable with some things (torture devices and fairy tales and poisons) and haphazard with others (butler != valet). To top it all off, Viz's translation is incredibly tone deaf! I've seen people write fic in the Victorian prose voice, which was awesome, but I can also see fic written without that as well.

(no subject)

Date: 2007-12-05 05:16 am (UTC)
ext_12512: Hinoe from Natsume Yuujinchou, elegant and smirky (Default)
From: [identity profile] smillaraaq.livejournal.com
Heh, Saiyuki is such a wacky world that mixing the Chinese and Japanese elements together wouldn't throw me out of a fic either, because there's already that sort of mix in the canon with the place-names and minor characters and the non-Western clothing and all! So that just feels like it would be par for the course for Minekura-China.

(Thankfully I have mostly managed to avoid angsting about this too much in the few fics I've done so far, as they were just quiet little nothing-much-actually-happening scenes with Gojyo and Hakkai; other than youkai and hanyou there weren't any loanwords that felt like they *needed* to be used in those conversations.)

Eroica is definitely head-hurty on the language front since it's usually British English (well, except when Klaus is with his crew where it's presumably German, or when the KGB guys are talking amongst themselves and it must be Russian, or they're jet-setting again and what country are we in this week?). Yasuko Aoike's a definite European history buff so her research is generally fairly decent (for such a CRACKTASTIC series) -- throwing in a historical setting like the Godchild/Cain stuff does sound like it's just layering headache on top of headache!

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